US education department to investigate anti-Palestinian racism
This is the first public investigation into anti-Palestinian racism by the department following years of alleged denial of access to mental health services, being disproportionately investigated by campus police, being disciplined for infractions that non-Palestinian students admitted to, being falsely accused of committing crimes, and being subjected to racist anti-Palestinian comments, according to Palestine Legal.
According to the complaint, which Palestine Legal filed on behalf of three students in February, GW cancelled a counseling space for Palestinian students after a pro-Israel campus group complained.
As a result, a Palestinian student who had been injured at an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank was denied access to mental health services.
The same complaint alleged that another student was falsely accused of vandalism and forced to answer for an infraction that a white, Jewish student had already admitted to.
"This is a big deal because they're moving quickly on this case and they're opening an investigation," Dylan Saba, a staff attorney with Palestine Legal. "It's encouraging that the office for civil rights is recognising anti-Palestinian racism."
He emphasised, "We need to be clear. Palestinian advocates are not going to be bullied into silence with false claims of antisemitism."